Wauwatosa, WI – If you only look at the race results, Matt Hayek survived Quarryfest Deslotmania, an event that was missed last season due to COVID. But, if you were there at Quarry Heights Raceway, you know that Hayek dominated round 12 of the IndySlotCar schedule
The only part of the night that Hayek didn’t win was qualifying - he was second. MisFitz Motorsport's Dan Margetta took the pole as those two drivers were the only ones to crack the four-second barrier with Hayek's #28 Angry Squirrel Speedsport Honda-Daboiler turning a 3.978-second lap and Margetta topping him with a 3.884-second run. The pole was the second for Margetta this season, his first was just two races ago at the Rapids Grand Prix.
The euphoria from winning the pole didn’t last as Margetta was set to race in the first heat against Brad Core, Dean Strom and John Wiedemann. Deslot rule bit early as Wiedemann tallied the three drivers are alloted in the first half, while running second, and was done for the night quickly. Margetta’s luck ran out early in the second half using up the last of his allowed deslots while leading the race. This left Squirrel Shagged Enterprises' Strom to coast to the finish with the heat win and placed Core in the provisional “transfer to the final” spot.
Heat race two started the domination by Hayek as he ran in the lead from flag to flag and was never challenged by Michael Shank-It Racing's Joe Heitz or CBD Racing teammates Pete Dorn and Bill Black. Heitz used up his deslots in the second half leaving Black and Dorn to chase after the lap total their teammate laid down in the first heat. As time was winding down, Black passed Core’s total and took over the provisional transfer spot.
The third heat had the winner of the last race, Mike Kristof, pitted against PenskeHO Racing's Ev Kamikawa and the two slowest qualifiers Steve Rist and Mike Lack. Getting his groove back, Lack jumped to the lead and never looked back. Kristof chased him but used up his three deslots within 38 laps, going from a win in the last event to last place in this one, closing the Michael Shank-It Racing floodgates. Shortly after that, Kamikawa crashed out of the race, leaving the “slow” guys from qualifying. With Lack in control at the front, the attention focused on Rist to see if he could get the transfer spot. While his lap total in the first half wasn’t promising, Rist got on the throttle in the second half and out-lapped Black to take the transfer and make the final for the second event in a row.
Starting the final like he did his heat race, Hayek jumped to the lead and looked unstoppable. Hayek's Angry Squirrel Speedsport teammate Mike Lack in the #27 Napa Honda-Daboiler tried to keep pace but suffered a couple of deslots quickly, causing him to modify his pace. Second place in the Husarsbilt Cup championship standings, Strom had handling issues and used up his limit of four deslots in 39 laps, settling for fourth place. While Lack and Rist paced the track, Hayek was hard on the gas laying down fast laps. A quick pitstop for Hayek sealed the fate of the field, putting the car on cruise control in the second half of the race. A slow stop for Lack, for the second race in a row, and a couple more deslots ended his race in third place. All that was left for Rist was to get through pitstops, which he did with a quick stop, and then pass Lack’s total. As the race wound down, Rist picked up a deslot here and there until the #4 Squirrel Shagged Enterprises Chevy-Daboiler finally picked up his fourth and the race was complete. Even though the race ended early, Hayek was only nine laps off the record total for the event which he had set in 2020.
As per usual at Deslotmania, the deslot rules decimated the field. Of the drivers that didn’t make the final, five of the eight did not finish due to deslots. Of the four who made the final, only one finished.
The win was the second for Hayek this season, folling up his win at the big Black Track oval in Round Five. The nineteenth win of his career has him ninth in the All-Time stats, fifth among active drivers.
The result didn’t do much to the top of the standings. Lack added three points to his lead over Strom which is now at a 37 point difference. Kristof maintains third place but just three points ahead of Black. Wiedemann is in fifth but just a point ahead of Dorn. Hayek with his win moves up to seventh and Rist with his second place run moves up to ninth in the standings.
Up next is the final open-class race of the season at Turtle Creek Park Raceway for the Larry Rotter Memorial Grand Prix. It is a quick turnaround for the series as the race will be contested next week, March 3rd. Wiedemann is the defending race winner. The championship contenders also have won this race four of the last five seasons, Lack three times (2018, 2019, 2020) and Strom once (2017).